We initially started our firm focused on Paid Search and Paid Ad networks like Product Listing Ads (PLAs) as well as Pay Per Click (PPC), Retargeting and programmatic campaigns like Display Ads and online Video Pre-Roll Ads on various publisher websites as well as brand safe sites like YouTube. PLA and PPC along with the DSP campaigns noted remain a key focus area for us since it is still one of the primary means of generating leads and boosting sales online, especially when results are desired faster, which is typically the case.
PLAs run on Google under their Google Shopping platform or on Bing as Product Ads on their Bing Shopping alternative. The ads appear as images along with pricing that is shown alongside competitors offering the same product or similar options at various price points. It is a highly effective way to increase sales of products online since it visually shows not a text ad, like CPC campaigns, but an image of the products desired. PLA campaigns then are specific to only certain industries where a physical product can be purchased online, such as manufacturers that wish to sell direct or retailers and distributors. Another platform to consider is Amazon with their Sponsored Products Ads, as another PLA option, but the product images and pricing only appear on Amazon’s platform, so it is subject to Amazon fees and terms. It is also not uncommon to run both a PPC and PLA campaign (and even Amazon campaigns) for the same products since that tactic gains more virtual real estate on the search results pages (SERPs) to increase the odds of a sale occurring over competitors with similar products and product types.
Typically, we work with the web developer of a site for PLA campaigns since the developer will know the specific nuances of the products and its groupings, databases and other key technical website aspects so that we can efficiently extract the product data. We can also make tweaks to websites and work to extract the product information as well with our team of web designers (hyperlink to Web Design page), but this data feed usually is handled by our clients’ technical staff.
We can provide minimum recommended PPC budgets as well as suggestions of which services or products to promote. If an analysis was desired of existing CPC campaigns, we can analyze the campaign from the targeting, keywords, ad copy, extensions, page position, landing page and etc to provide an audit report along with recommendations for further improvement. For potential clients that wish to test us out vs. competition, we have suggested approaches in order to run a comparative performance test to measure our team to other Paid Search agencies.
For those seeking a long-term online strategy to boosting leads while avoiding PPC costs, Search Engine Optimization, Content Marketing and growing positive Testimonials across a variety of review sites, industry portals and social channels are all good investments to harness more traffic naturally and organically via major search engines. The tradeoff to not paying Google and Bing for clicks and sales is the amount of labor involved to get results and then maintain those results as competition seeks to out-position your listings online as well as the time it takes to appear on relevant search results pages (SERPs) which are Page 1 and Page 2 of Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Most firms are impatient and want leads immediately, so the tolerance needed for SEO results is not for everyone. However, keep in mind, grabbing as much virtual real estate via PPC, SEO and Reviews listings on the SERPs is the ideal tactic to surround a potential buyer with more of your messaging (via the search listings) than your competition.
Lastly, a service we highly recommend for PPC campaigns, as well as other lead generation campaigns we offer that tend to be overlooked, is lead tracking of online and offline campaigns. It is not uncommon for us to work with various clients that have limited data on what is working across all their campaigns. We like to apply analytics to all our campaigns since it helps us better optimize each program and improve them faster, which then boosts results and ROI since it lets us and our clients know where their money could be best spent.